Sgt. Jonathan J. Simpson
Died: October 14, 2006
25, of Rockport, Texas; assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Oct. 14 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Anbar province, Iraq.
U.S. Marine killed in Iraq, buried in Quebec
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006
QUEBEC -- A U.S. Marine sergeant who was born in Canada and died during U.S. combat operations in Iraq was buried Tuesday in Quebec, where his mother lives.
Marine Sgt. Jonathan J. Simpson, of Rockport Texas, died Oct. 14 in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. According to his father, who also lives in Rockport, Simpson was born in Canada and held dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship.
The 25-year-old apparently grew up in Montreal, but according to relatives, went to visit his father in Texas and never returned to Canada.
Simpson was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
He had joined the Marines five years ago and left for Iraq in September as a flight navigator. However, when his cousin died at the onset of the Iraq war, Simpson apparently wanted to honor his cousin by switching from flying aircraft to fighting on the front lines.
Corpus Christi Caller Times -- Sgt. Jonathan J. Simpson, 25, of Rockport, died Saturday during combat operations against enemy forces in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, the Department of Defense announced Monday.
Simpson, who was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif., left for Iraq on Sept. 27, according to his father, Frank Simpson of Rockport, who visited him the day he left.
The elder Simpson said military officials told him his son, who was in the special forces, was on foot patrol when his unit was fired upon by insurgents.
Jonathan Simpson was born in Quebec, where his mother still resides, but he lived with his father before he enlisted in the Marines in 2001. Simpson said his son had dual citizenship.
Jonathan Simpson's cousin, Abraham Simpson, was killed in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. Photos of them in full dress uniform are displayed side-by-side at the Rockport Wal-Mart, where they share a wall with other local military personnel.
Frank Simpson said his son saw those photos during one of his visits from California.
"I watched him and he looked at every face - that's a Marine," Simpson said, adding that his son, who once was on the dean's list at Del Mar College, had dreams of owning land in the Coastal Bend after he finished his service. "He loved his country, he loved Texas. He was a good soldier."
Simpson said services likely will be in Quebec.
Fellow Marine Brad Kealiher, who lives in Wisconsin, met Jonathan Simpson in San Antonio where they were stationed in 2002.
"He was a little different, being that he grew up in Canada, but the first thing I noticed was he was smart with bookwork and math," said Kealiher, who was honorably discharged the same day his friend shipped off to Iraq.
After being stationed apart, the two friends reunited in San Diego, Calif., in January.
"We did a lot of barbecuing, sitting in my garage in lawn chairs, listening to music, and talking about what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives," he said.
Kealiher said he, Jonathan, and Frank Simpson went camping just before Jonathan left. During the trip, Kealiher, who served three tours in the Middle East, told his friend what to expect in Iraq. Simpson was unfazed.
"He was in the same mindset we all were - you're not really scared. You're going into it and willing to accept whatever life throws at you."